There is no doubt that communicational hegemony is a reality. Most TV stations toe the government line, as do most radio stations. Newspapers are not far behind, as I write in my latest piece for Foreign Policy.
Still, I can’t help but be skeptical about the size of the threat posed by the hegemon.
What have they achieved with all of this? Little to nothing.
If communicational hegemony were effective in terms of its goal – controling the information the public receives – we wouldn’t know …
- that students at Unimet closed off the highway a few days ago
- that Humboldt University students shut off Av. Andrés Bello last night
- that Nicolás Maduro was jeered by a full stadium in Margarita a few days ago
- that people protesting against the Cuban baseball team got thrown in jail arbitrarily
- that the opposition marched all over the country this past Sunday
- that there is another march scheduled for February 12th
- that there is a serious tiff between Leopoldo López and Henrique Capriles
- that we’ve run out of dollars
- that conflicts among key players in the government prevented yesterday’s currency auction from taking place
- that the guy in charge of administering the loans from China is the son of the Venezuelan Ambassador TO China, and
- that Chávez’s daughters have become trashier versions of Kato Kaelin – guests that just won’t leave.
Mind you, these are just the last few days’ worth of news. Hegemony or not, the information is out there for anyone to obtain it – at least as long as newspapers don’t croak.
Are there things we don’t know? Absolutely, just like there were before Maduro. Is there censorhip? Yes. But people in Caracas can still get around it – just ask Alek! The bottom line is that information doesn’t flow unfettered, but we’re not North Korea yet.
I realize information has become more difficult to obtain, but in a lot of ways, it has become more available than ever before. Communicational hegemony is a fact of Maduro’s Venezuela, but is it really a problem?
I wonder. If the goal of communicational hegemony was simply to own media outlets, then sure, they win – chavistas are really good at buying and taking over stuff. But the stated goal was to control information. To me, like everything chavismo does, communicational hegemony is just another colossal screw-up.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.